There is an interesting article in the March 3, 2016 issue of NEJM that discusses obesity and that there are two new areas of research including the manipulation of brown adipose tissue and the role played by the gut microbiome in energy balance. With the tremendous epidemic of obesity, type II diabetes and dyslipidemia, it is important that we look at ways to prevent this medical and public health issue. Whereas the obvious choice to eat less and exercise more seems to be incredibly difficult for most Americans, it is important to explore all of the issues at hand.
The article and commentary looks at the role that gut might play in managing weight. The article discusses that there are three types of adipose tissue white fat tissue that stores calories and brown adipose tissue that dissipates energy through mitochondrial coupling in the production of heat and a third type called the beige adipocyte has ability to transition between the two states. There are now some studies in mice that look at converting some the white fat tissue to beige Adipose tissue in a process called browning,
Cold induced browning can produce dramatic weight loss in mice however people do not enjoy being cold so this has some relative issues with its effectiveness in implementation. A recent study in Nature looks at the effect of bacteria in our guts to determine and this might also help with weight control. But even transferring stool from a patient with cold induced browning might be effective in weight loss.
so my take away from this article is that there is likely possibilities that some aspects of the obesity epidemic can be prevented by probiotics and in more serious cases still transplants otherwise known as FMT